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Types of Abuse

What is Abuse?

“Abuse” is a pattern of behavior that is inflicted upon a person by someone they are in an intimate or familiar relationship with in order to control them through physical harm or fear. It cuts across geographic, religious, economic, and racial barriers. Acts of abuse could include verbal, psychological, emotional, financial, physical, sexual or spiritual attacks.

Verbal Abuse could be
Anything that involves a verbal attack, which would Include yelling, name-calling, constant complaining, criticizing, placing blame, humiliating you in public or private, using sarcasm, dominating conversations, teasing you about things you are sensitive about, and speaking under their breath.

Psychological Abuse could be
Anything that makes you question your own reality, which would include:

  • Dismissing your reality and experiences
  • “Remembering” things that did not happen or never remembering anything
  • Making up rules that you “should have known”

Emotional Abuse could be
Anything that ignores your feelings, which could include:

  • Ridiculing your beliefs
  • Withholding approval
  • Threatening to take your children
  • Telling you about his/her affairs
  • Manipulating you with lies
  • Threatening to leave you
  • Taking the car keys or money
  • Keeping you from working or going to school
  • Abusing your pets or children, or driving your family or friends away
  • Threatening suicide if you leave

Financial Abuse could be
Anything that restricts your access to money, which could include:

  • Taking the paychecks
  • Withholding funds
  • Not giving any money for basic requirements
  • Spending all the money before bills are paid
  • Demanding money from you
  • Refusal to pay you back
  • Over-extending or destroying credit
  • Making you account for every dime
  • Disparity in spending
  • Threatening or refusing to pay child support
  • Demanding that his/her spending desires are a priority
  • Hiding money or assets
  • Depleting accounts

Physical Abuse could be
Anything physical or life threatening, which could include:

  • Pushing, scratching, slapping, hitting, punching, choking, kicking, holding, biting, throwing
  • Locking you out of the house
  • Driving recklessly when you are in the car
  • Throwing objects at you
  • Threatening to hurt you with a weapon
  • Abandoning you in dangerous places
  • Refusing to help when you are pregnant, injured or sick

Sexual Abuse could be
Anything intimate that makes you uncomfortable, which could include:

  • Insisting that you dress in a certain way
  • Calling you sexual names
  • Forcing you to strip
  • Forcing unwanted sexual acts
  • Withholding sex as punishment
  • Criticizing you sexually
  • Insisting upon sex when you do not want it
  • Using pictures or intimate knowledge to humiliate you in public or private

Spiritual Abuse could be
Anything that wears down your self-esteem or suppresses your spiritual expression, which could include:

  • Demeaning your beliefs
  • Separating you from your spiritual connection to family/culture
  • Denying you access to your spiritual connections.